Celebrating East African Writing!
Written by Noella Luka
Did you know that on 31st January 1964, a small bottle of Pilsner cost Kenya’s founding father Kshs. 1.64 at the general assembly? Or that he inspected a guard of honour mounted by the last British troops Staffordshire Regiment at the Nairobi Airport on 10th December 1964, just before they left Kenya? Well now you know.
If there is one thing that will probably make you feel more patriotic, then it is owning a copy of the Kenya Year book.
“The book gives information about our country from different sectors showing how our country is growing. As Kenya Yearbook editorial board, it is our mandate to publish the book annually,” says Jane Mareka, a marketing officer at the editorial board. She led a team that pitched camp at this year’s Storymoja Hay Festival.
The book is rich in History, Arts and Culture. An interesting twist to the book is the addition of biographies of 38 cabinet ministers. The ministers featured include those who served during Kenyatta’s time up until his death. For example, one biography features Joseph Murumbi, a man whose love for art is still evident to date. The national Archives is home of the Murumbi gallery. The gallery has a wide range of books, art, sculptures and postage stamps from Joseph Murumbi and his wife Sheila Murumbi’s collection. There is also a Murumbi Peace Memorial site at Nairobi’s city park.
“The Kenya Year book acts as a very important reference book, and being government, we actually have access to areas where other people are not able to get information from. What’s more, the information is presented in such a way that it can communicate to an 11 year old child and engage them to understand our history,” Jane Mareka says.